[E]xpert in all matters related to US retirement plans and their interaction with the capital markets.”—Chambers USA

Cadwalader’s ERISA attorneys counsel clients on the fiduciary standards under ERISA, prohibited transaction rules, compliance with ERISA regulations and the tax aspects of employee benefit plan investments in the context of plan investment activities on both the buy- and sell-sides, extraordinary corporate events and day-to-day corporate operations. Our clients include  banks, broker-dealers, asset managers,  investors, private investment funds, issuers, employers and individuals.

Our ERISA team works closely with our industry-leading Financial Regulation, Derivatives & Structured Products, Securitization & Asset Based Finance and Investment Management teams on the structuring of new and innovative investment products, services, businesses and investment vehicles, both traditional and alternative in nature. We provide creative solutions that achieve the results desired by clients, while helping to ensure that the products and services made available to the employee benefit plan market comply with applicable legal requirements. We also routinely advise financial services firms in connection with the provision of services, such as investment management, brokerage and custody services, to employee benefit plans and entities deemed to hold the assets of such plans.

Our ERISA team also works closely with our highly-regarded Corporate, Financial Restructuring, Investment Management, Real Estate and Tax teams to provide counsel with respect to ERISA issues. We are experienced advisors and negotiators on the intersection of ERISA and mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spinoffs, public and private securities offerings, tender offers, exchange offers, restructurings, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures, lending transactions, private equity investments and fund structuring. We also regularly advise clients on plan reporting, disclosure and ERISA compliance, as well as on plan terminations and withdrawals.

Our ERISA attorneys have significant experience representing clients in seeking relief and guidance from the Department of Labor, having achieved landmark ERISA exemptions and interpretations.

We work hard to stay at the cutting edge of this practice and keep all of our clients advised of the implications of new ERISA-related laws, regulations and interpretations affecting their businesses.

  • Primary counsel to BlackRock in dealing with ERISA fiduciary and prohibited transaction issues leading up to and following the acquisition by BlackRock of Barclays Global Investors, which transaction created the world's largest publicly traded money manager (BlackRock currently manages close to $3.3 trillion).
  • Various large U.S. (e.g., Bank of America) and non-US based (e.g., Deutsche Bank) financial institutions regarding the application of ERISA and assistance in preparation and negotiation of trading documentation (e.g., ISDAs, Master Repurchase Agreements and Master Securities Lending Agreements).
  • Advised LyondellBasell on a wide range of compensation and employee benefits issues in connection with their chapter 11 case.
  • A large non-U.S. based financial institution in connection with addressing legal issues (including ERISA and relevant securities laws) associated with custody and providing administrative services to hedge fund of funds managed by US-based asset managers.
  • A large U.S. financial institution in connection with a potential joint application to the U.S. Department of Labor with a large asset manager in which the large financial institution indirectly held a material equity investment, for a prohibited transaction exemption permitting the asset manager to cause client plans to engage in certain transactions involving affiliates of the large financial institution.
  • BlackRock, Inc. in connection with a prohibited transaction exemption request from the DOL relating to certain stable value fund wrap agreements.
  • Multiple asset managers in connection with the implications of the recently revised rules regarding disclosure of service provider compensation.
  • A private equity fund manager regarding ERISA, executive compensation and benefit plan-related matters in connection with a bid for a broker-dealer and insurance company.
  • Multiple financial institutions in connection with transactions with or involving governmental plans.
  • Two fund managers regarding hedge fund trading activities subject to ERISA.
  • Multiple major financial services firms regarding potential impact of Dodd Frank legislation on business involving ERISA and governmental plans.
  • Pfizer relating to executive compensation and employee benefits issues in connection with Pfizer's $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth.
  • Xerium Technologies regarding benefit plan related advice in connection with its credit facility.
  • CVC Partners Group on ERISA and benefit plan related issues in its bid for Barclays' iShares unit.
  • The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Landry's Restaurants, Inc., a national restaurant, hospitality and entertainment company that owns and operates Rainforest Cafe, Saltgrass Steak House, Landry's Seafood House, Charley's Crab, The Chart House, the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, and others, on executive compensation matters arising in connection with a buyout deal with Chairman and Chief Executive Tilman Fertitta.

1 Attorneys

Frazier, James Partner New York
T. +1 212 504 6963